I enjoy going into town but I don’t do it enough. Internet shopping is too easy and convenient and you can get exactly what you want. However you miss out on the spontaneity and creativity that comes with shopping without having exactly what you want at your finger tips.
Last week I went to meet a friend for lunch, it wasn’t a particularly nice day; grey, drizzley rain and heavy cloud but we stayed warm at home with a lovely lunch at my friend’s house. After we decided to defy the English weather and walk into town anyway. We both had a few things to do and it was market day. I love market days!
As we were still ill last week, I wasn’t as organised with the meal planning as I could have been last week and as a result we had a few evenings where I wasn’t really sure what we going to have. I needed to get a meal for that evening and a few other bits. Enter Abby’s Happy Farm.
Walking through the market, Abby’s cheery face beemed at us over a little refrigerated counter containing meat. She was so enthusiastic as she told us about her ethically farmed meat all locally produced. The animals are raised at several farms in Hampshire all not too far away from me. Well how could I resist?
Raised, fed, slaughtered and prepared all within an hour of where I live, Abby’s Happy Farm meat is perfect if you want something a little cheaper than organic but is still ethically produced. I chose some caramelised onion sausages that were going to be our dinner that evening. At £3 they are very reasonably priced.
My only disappointment was the plastic and polystyrene packaging they came in. If they were sold loose I could have brought a tub along and carried them home that way but I suspect the logistics of hygiene and packaging on a market stall must be difficult and so pre-packed it is.
Next I stopped at the veg stall and picked up golden beetroots and new potatoes to go with our sausages, and regular beetroot and bananas to have a go a making a recipe for muffins I found on Zoe’s blog, for little Beans.
Roasted sausages and vegetables, were just the ticket for a cold autumn evening. The sausages were excellent. No nasty grisly bits and a great flavour. I definitely recommend trying them if you see Abby at a market near you.
Also on the list was a mini muffin tin so that I could make a batch and freeze them for Beany. I had no idea if I’d find anything like this in town. The little independent cook shop closed down about a year ago and has never been replaced. As luck would have it I found this silicone cake pop mould in the local Robert Dyers and although not as eco-friendly as I’d like, I’m sure it will get lots of use!
It’ll make great bite sized sweet and savoury treats for Beans and when she’s older we can make them together.
On the way back home we stopped at a really lovely little charity shop run by Cancer Research. The shop is dedicated to children’s clothes and toys. I like to try to get Beany’s clothes second-hand where I can as I feel this is actually the most eco-friendly way of doing things, especially with the speed at which they grow.
I tend to get a lot on online auction sites but this little shop is a delight to wander around, has very reasonably priced items and, at the end of the day, is supporting charity.
I came out with two beautiful wooden toys for Beany and a cute little jumper for the winter. I can’t believe how big she’s getting!
We had a lovely afternoon in town and it’s a pleasure to walk through the little market and support local business. The toys were a hit with Bean too. I should do it more often!
Do you have a local market near you? What’s your favourite stall? Don’t forget to let me know in the comments below.